Train and Superjet bus tickets will be provided for free, for 48 hours, to Egyptian citizens who wish to travel to their voting station, the Ministry of Transportation announced late Tuesday on its official page. In order to obtain the tickets, citizens must present their national identification cards, the ministry added.
The ministry pointed out that the free tickets aim to facilitate transportation for Egyptians heading from their workplaces to voting stations. Early Tuesday, the ministry announced that citizens who failed to obtain a train ticket on Tuesday would not be fined.
On the first day of voting, Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb announced that that the second day of voting for the presidential elections will be a national day-off.
The presidential elections took place on Monday, 26 May and Tuesday, 27 May. On the second day of elections, the presidential elections committee announced that elections will be extended to Wednesday, 28 May.
Mehleb also announced Tuesday that fining those who are eligible but fail to cast a vote in the presidential elections is a “law that is implemented”.
Abdel Aziz Salman, secretary general of the Supreme Electoral Commission, was cited by the BBC as saying: “Egyptian authorities will fine all those who fail to vote in the presidential elections, according to the law.”
Salman added that that the fine would be implemented after abstainers are “referred to prosecution and court”.
Ahmed Hafez, executive director for the elections’ watchdog organisation Shayfeencom, said that measures taken by the government to attract voters are “a joke”.
Hafez added that the total number of eligible voters who headed to vote did not exceed 35% nationwide.
Social media websites have also criticised what they have called a low turnout of voters, which they said has been “dominated by older Egyptians” rather than youth.